Magazine article Modern Trader

Sometimes It Takes a Man

Magazine article Modern Trader

Sometimes It Takes a Man

Article excerpt

T. Boone Pickens has spent his life shaking up corporate America. So it's no surprise that once again he's striking terror into the hearts of energy companies.

When I interviewed him back in 1986, he was the "corporate raider" who helped restructure the oil industry. Today, he is using his business and government insights to curb the U.S. addiction to foreign oil and move it to natural gas, of which we have deep reserves. Imagine: we no longer would be beholden to OPEC, no longer embroiled in Middle East wars, no longer polluting the planet with poisonous gasses.

This might seem like a dream, but it's the vision of a man who has combined his energy know how, business acumen, political leverage, and, yes, desire to profit to push an idea whose time has come...and is past. As he says to why the United States hasn't been able to create a comprehensive energy plan: lack of leadership and cheap gasoline.

Pickens is known for his candor. In his interview with Managing Editor Dan Collins (see Boone: The man with a big plan, page 20), he is up front with why the United States needs rehab, fast. "The people who have the oil, most of it, are not friends of ours; 40% of the oil we import is from countries the State Department recommends we don't visit, which tells us they're not friends. Why would you put yourself in a spot where you are dependent on oil from the enemy?"

As you read this, the House will have or will be ready to vote on HR1835, which gives a $65,000 tax credit for 18-wheelers that use natural gas for fuel. His vision is for transporters and the government to switch to natural gas for fuel, and he states that as 70% of oil usage is transportation, this would be a huge step in steering the country toward energy independence. He told Collins: "If you do nothing, you are going to be faced with $300 per barrel oil in 10 years, you will be importing 75% of your oil and you will be more dependent on OPEC than you are today. …

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